Having been part of the bright lights and buzz that is Broadway in New York City, a highly talented home-grown duo is back in Sydney to showcase their production.
Composer/producer Joe Kiely and actress Courtney Powell left Sydney for New York in 2010 to make a name for themselves, and succeeded.
After rising through the ranks, it culminated in the premiere of Crab House – A Bloody Musical, which debuted on Off-Broadway in 2011.
“Being surrounded by the high energy and high talent that New York City offers was very inspirational,” said Mr Kiely.
“All of the industry leaders are working there. We networked our way up from speaking to them and were coached by some really high level musical talent.”
Mr Kiely used all of his resourcefulness in networking in a foreign city.
“I would stand at the stage door of some big new shows,” said Mr Kiely. “For instance, The Book of Mormon is one of the biggest shows on Broadway at the moment.”
“I went there and waited around for Stephen Oremus, who is the musical director. We had a chat and then went out for lunch a couple of times. He gave me some invaluable words of wisdom.”
Last year the musical was showcased at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland, and now will debut on home shores. The Australian premiere of Crab House is next Thursday, May 9 at The Blue Beat in Double Bay.
“We have taken on all of the feedback from Edinburgh, all of the words of wisdom from New York and just compacted it all into this Sydney version,” said Mr Kiely.
The 24-year-old composer/producer of Crab House, Mr Kiely wrote the script from 2008 to 2010 and has adapted it several times since.
The story is about a struggling seafood restaurant set in the middle of the Great Depression in New York City.
“Tim and Ruth move over to New York City and take over a crab house,” said Ms Powell, who plays Ruth. “Everything is going pretty appallingly until an accident happens in the kitchen and it sparks a suspicious turnaround.”
The restaurant theme was hatched from Mr Kiely’s firsthand experience.
“I got the idea working at a steakhouse in Woolloomooloo and just observed all the two-faced nature of the hospitality industry,” said Mr Kiely. “I thought something needed to be written out of it because it’s just a drama in itself.”
The event is a fundraiser for the Karuna Foundation – a not-for-profit children’s organisation run in rural Cambodia. The foundation provides clothing, shelter and access to education for impoverished children.
A preview show of Crab House will take place tonight [May 2] before next week’s official premiere. Tickets cost $25 dollars and can be purchased from www.crabhousethemusical.com